the Ecospot Eco Gift Guide 2016 – day 1 – Patagonia Powder Town Beanie

Well, where has this year gone? It seems like only yesterday that we were putting together our Eco Gift Guide for last Christmas… But, here we are – pinch punch – on the 1st December already. So – looking for an eco gift, an ethical gift or a sustainable seasonal present for a loved one? Stay tuned for the next 24 days as we open the doors on 24 things that we would be delighted to find in our stockings this year. There will be stuff for all budgets and tastes, with all things made with love by nice people…

So – for day 1 on our Eco Gift Guide we have… a Patagonia Powder Town Silver Birch Beanie.

eco-gift-guide-day-1-patagonia-powder-town-beanie

With the temperature plummeting in the UK, we have been digging out our hats over the last few days, but if you know someone who is in need of a new woolly to keep their head toasty, this is a rather nice one indeed.

As many of you will know, we are huge fans of Patagonia here in the studio – not only for their well made clothing, but for their material choices and dedication to longevity and repair. Plus their recent drive for Black Friday saw them increase their usual 1% For The Planet contributions to 100% for the whole day – resulting in a staggering $10 million being spread by Patagonia amongst grass roots environmental charities. Wow. 

This lovely Powder Town Beanie is made from recycled polyester with a bit of elastane for a comfortable stretch, in the classic white and grey that will suit everyone. A bobble for a bit of fun, a cosy head and a great company to support.

Get yours now from Surfdome in the UK, where you can pick it up for a very reasonable £25.59 + P+P. check it out here.

(image via Surfdome)

The Guardian features ocean based companies tackling marine litter…

A few years ago, I was training for the Brighton Marathon and spent a good chunk of time clocking up the miles along the seafront promenade. What struck me (through the utter boredom) was how many people were running too. Had they always been there? Were they training for an event too? Or had I just never noticed them until now? Everywhere I looked, there were people running. And so it is with everything marine litter. Each day, we find more and more articles, products, initiatives to log in our marine litter files. Is it that we just are more tuned in, or are there more people actually talking (and doing something) about it? Is this the start of the ‘sea change’ on marine litter?

Big Spring Beach Clean 3

Who can say. But we did notice that The Guardian published a rather interesting round up of ‘surf related product innovations’ not in their sport and lifestyle pages, but in their circular economy section, which we think is rather telling.

For many, business and product innovation is something that happens in the city, or tucked away in workshops and design studios across the globe. Talk to someone about the surf industry and not everyone will make the connection with forward thinking – sustainable – product creation.

However, it has been our experience that those who are the closest to the problem have the most to gain from creating positive change, and of course, they understand the issue completely. So a whole range of sustainable business and product innovations related to marine litter from surf industries should fit like a non-neoprene glove.

So – here is the run down from The Guardian’s article, published 02 August 2016…

Otter Surfboards – created from wood rather than synthetics, with timber from local, responsible forests and with all ‘waste’ used somewhere else in the system, these boards are the pinnacle of hand made…

surfers stood on beach with wooden surfboards

 

Rareform – billboard surf bags – in the same vein as our beloved Frietag truck tarp bags, these surf bags utilise everything the advertising vinyls are good at. Hardwearing, waterproof and minimising waste.

Patagonia and Yulex – natural rubber rather than synthetic neoprene wetsuits made from highly managed, sustainable forests – launched this week. (NB – Natural rubber has been a bit of a poster material in the last few years, but as demand has gone up, ethical practices have been swamped by those seeking to make a wad of cash from rubber plantations created from cleared natural forests) Great to see Patagonia taking the lead – again.

More Product Views

Enjoy Handplanes– made from mushrooms. Yes, really. And expect to see lots more products hit our shelves as we are only just starting to realise the potential of this material…

Stacks Image 1505

FiveOceans – a surfboard fin made from recovered marine waste – working to save the five oceans.

ecoFin - Thruster Set for FCS Plugs

RubyMoon and Finisterre – swimwear made from Econyl – a yarn made completely from recovered waste nylon, such as fishing nets.

swimwear

So when you think about it, creating items from waste marine litter makes perfect sense, and who would be your earliest adopters? Those who work, live and play in the setting. They understand the issues and want to do something about it. It’s a great place to start.

(images via associated links)

***EVENT REVIEW*** – March of The Mermaids with World Cetacean Alliance…

Last Saturday, we were out and about again – this time with the World Cetacean Alliance at the March of the Mermaids in Hove, helping them spread the word about ghost gear netting and specifically, what you can do with it. Armed with a raft of experimental pieces of jewellery we created for our exhibit at Clerkenwell Design Week 2016, we were there for the day running making workshops with recovered netting from the beaches of Brighton. With attendees from age 3 upwards, we were busy!

March of the Mermaids 2016 WCA workshop

It was great to show everyone the issue up close and actually encourage them to feel the rope and see it as a material resource for new products, rather than something that should be consigned to landfill.

March of the Mermaids 2016 WCA workshop ghost gear jewellery

We knotted, weaved, plaited, threaded and combined the synthetic netting with simple jewellery findings and each attendee went away with a few new skills, loads of information and a new bracelet or two to help them tell the story to others. It was an encouraging sight.

March of the Mermaids 2016 WCA workshop 2
one of the ghost gear bracelets made at the workshops – complete with a nickel and zinc free little whale!

We also had time to catch up with the great guys and gals that make up the Brighton Etsy team, who have also teamed up with the World Cetacean Alliance to create new pieces inspired by their Untangled project brief. Launched at March of the Mermaids, the pieces range from patches to jewellery again – with a percentages of all the product sales from now until Christmas being donated directly to the World Cetacean Alliance.

il_570xN.1012470636_abma

And one of them is Lulu – of which I am extremely proud have the very first prototype for. She always gets stacks of attention when I wear her and I’m delighted that I can now direct people to Designosaur’s shop to get their own!

il_570xN.1057192783_5ayo

One of the purchases we made was this awesome print as a tote bag by Hello Dodo… just made us smile!

March of the Mermaids 2016 Hello Dodo

Take a look at their blog here to see all the pieces created by their members for WCA.

So, overall, a great fundraising and awareness raising day at March of the Mermaids for the World Cetacean Alliance – and watch this space for some more very exciting news about our work with WCA soon…!

(images by claire potter and the Brighton Etsy Team)

SPOTTED – PLANE – luggage made from reclaimed aeroplane textiles on Kickstarter…

We think it is pretty safe to say that Kickstarter has dramatically changed the way products are marketed and manufactured. If there is any place to see the cutting edge in product launches, it is here. And we were delighted to see the new product line from Plane Industries go live – PLANE – a series of accessories made from reclaimed aeroplane textiles.

PLANE phone sleeve

Mostly destined for landfill, aeroplane seating textiles that have been removed are by their very nature, hardwearing, with many years of use often left in each section. So, Plane Industries have decided to recover this waste material and reinvent it into luxury travel goods, from phone covers to weekend bags.

PLANE products

The pieces are well designed and look well made, using quality fixings and secondary materials, with a quilted cross hatch pattern reminiscent of other high-end pieces of luggage. Available in blue plain / striped colourways, the products mean business. Luxury reinvented, they say, but luxury in a different way…

PLANE quote

Hear hear. But what we particularly like about the range is the attention to detail, along with the emphasis on stories and history. Each item gets stamped with the fingerprint of the material – the heights reached, the miles travelled. Things that take the piece from the ordinary to the extraordinary, and things that help to identify the product as something far more special than a mass produced item.

PLANE label

When using ‘waste’ materials, it is critical that these stories are communicated from the maker to the eventual product owner. We like things that have history, yet we are conditioned to think that ‘waste’ is worthless. And whilst using reclaimed materials is critical as our resources continue to deplete, costs are often higher, meaning that we need to connect waste with a higher standard of product. This is no mean feat, but those that do it well, do it very well indeed. The PLANE range of products certainly does this well.

PLANE messenger bag

To top it all? Plane Industries will also stamp your initials on the tag. Personalisation, ownership, emotional attachment – meaning love, care and a long product life…


Head over to the PLANE main site, and check our their Kickstarter page (till August 11th 2016), where you can pledge for something special.

(images via the PLANE Kickstarter)

SPOTTED – reclaimed vinyl banner products by Vaho…

Last weekend, when the UK was imploding from the shock of Brexit, we were very pleased to be elsewhere – watching the events unfold from the sunny climes of Barcelona. And whilst we were there, we found a stack of innovative companies who are channelling the cities waste into new products. First up is Vaho, who use reclaimed vinyl banners as their base material.

In a similar way to Swiss company Freitag, who convert truck tarps into new accessories, Barcelona based Vaho take the advertising banners that proliferate through the vast city and convert them into bags, wallets, belts and cases – with each one being unique. Their tag line of ‘Trashion Bags handmade in Barcelona’ says it all.

Of course, the key factors of the vinyl banners are durability (strength and waterproofness) with the ability to print good images on the material, but despite their ephemeral nature when used for advertising a date specific event, they are notoriously hard to recycle. With metal eyelets and other co-mingled materials, the banners are often consigned to landfill.

But the bright colours they have, combined with their durability make them perfect for use in every day accessories. You don’t want your stuff getting wet, after all.

So it was with delight that we spotted a Vaho outlet store tucked away in the gothic quarter of Barcelona.

Vaho wallet 1

The first dilemma was to choose the shape we fancied – with a number of different configurations, zips, pockets and sizes available, the large array of accessories was mind boggling. And once you had chosen your model, you then had to choose your colour combination…

Some were quite plain, some had text, some referenced Barcelona landmarks and events, some were completely abstract. It took ages.

vaho wallet 2

But really, this is part of the charm. It was great to find a product that we could take home as a memento of our visit that was not only useful, but was made by hand in the city directly from the waste material generated advertising things to tourists like us. A sort of self fulfilling product purchase, but hey. We know this wallet will last for a very, very long time.

(images by claire potter and Vaho)

creating the perfect capsule wardrobe…

There are many things that make up the world of ‘sustainable design’ – from energy efficiency to reusing materials, and when you look at ‘sustainable lives’ we have everything from zero waste living to clean seasonal eating. 50 shades of green perhaps. However, a massive shift we have noticed of late is directed towards ‘decluttering’, with books and websites giving us tools and tips for removing (and recycling / reusing, obviously) the things we do not really need. And creating the perfect capsule wardrobe is a good place to start.

Imagine getting up and looking into a clear and clean wardrobe where everything co-ordinates across the seasons? No more hunting for a perfect outfit – the capsule wardrobe does it for you.

blogHeader.jpg

But were our wardrobes always as stuffed full as they are now? No. Women in the 1950’s had an average of 36 items in their wardrobes – women today average around 122 or so. And whilst all of my own clothes come from charity shops, I can certainly relate to that figure. *ahem*

So why the increase? Well, in the 50’s, clothes were an investment – they cost more and were chosen carefully. They were also cared for and repaired. Fast forward to today and we have a ravenous appetite for fast fashion where buying a new piece of clothing does not need to be a huge decision. It’s so cheap it can be throwaway.

Buying stuff secondhand has many advantages – it is cheaper than new (so you can afford a better quality item for the same price), you have the thrill of finding something unique and of course, it has huge environmental benefits. But you can still have too many things stuffed into your (secondhand) wardrobe – as is aptly shown by our #secondhandhaul tag we use when we get something (most) weekends…

But putting together a true capsule wardrobe is a tricky thing. I’ve mastered the travel capsule wardrobe, but not the daily one.

But hang on. There is an app for that. Enter Capsules by Cladwell. Still in beta stage, the app helps you to put together a set of ingredients for the sort of of capsule wardrobe that you need.

capsule wardrobe

What is interesting to note is that this is a paid subscription style app, at $5 a month, presumably so you can add in any ‘new’ purchases and ensure your capsule wardrobe remains true to itself. And you look like you can save multiple capsule wardrobes too, for different seasons perhaps…

So – could it be worth a go? As a guide to really help you be ruthless with a clear out and a guide when you are shopping – or charity shopping, it could be really useful. Would we continue to use it? Perhaps.

capsule wardrobe 2

Very much like the fitness apps – we think Capsules by Cladwell works by being your constant reminder. Think before you buy. Good advice we think…

Let us know if you are already a Capsule user – and check out the video below which explains all…

SPOTTED – Tauko Design – using reclaimed textiles in new, utilitarian fashion…

Fashion is often heralded as one of the biggest bad boys when it comes to wastefulness and a huge turnover of raw materials – telling us daily that the new thing is the best thing. Fashion moves quickly. The waste clothes soon follow. But not all fashion is created this way, and we were really interested to discover Finnish brand Tauko Design, who use reclaimed textiles in their collections.

Tauko design 3

Based on waste textiles from the service sector, Tauko Design takes lots of sheets (often waste from hospitals), dyes them in vibrant colours and completely transforms them into new items.

Tauko design 4

“In our creations, we show the minimalism of the Nordic design tradition as well as the coolness of the Finnish landscape. There is always a hint of Baltic humor in our garments; small colorful details that give them a unique edge. We love big pockets and guarantee that the clothes won’t limit anyone from biking, running, dancing or just having a rest. 
Each of our designs were made with passion and commitment, always keeping in mind to make them work for diverse occasions and various body types.
We want to keep it classy, yet make the day a brighter one!”

Tauko design 2

What is really interesting is that the intro quote from Tauko says absolutely nothing about reclamation, recycling or reuse. It’s just part of what they do.

Tauko design 1

Many people have a preconception that ‘sustainable fashion’ has a particular ‘look’. Hair shirt and sandals is the phrase that we often coin for this kind of preconception – that all sustainable products are somehow stuck in the 1970’s. But of course, sustainable fashion can be anything but. We are totally in love not only with the ethos of Tauko, but their stunning designs too.

Take a look at Tauko Design’s main website to see the full range of their stunning garments…

(all images via Tauko Design)

Picture Organic Clothing – recycled and responsible snow apparel…

One thing about being a designer is that you are continually researching and noticing stuff. Everywhere. We barely switch off. Which is why last week, whilst in the mountains snowboarding, something caught my eye… Someone was sitting at a bar at 2300m above sea level with a jacket sporting the universal ‘recycling’ logo. Then I saw another. And another. Picture Organic Clothing was all over the mountain on snowboarders and skiers of all ages. I was very excited indeed and became quite a Picture spotter over the six days.

ROCK_white

So, why was I so excited? Picture, who were founded in France in 2008, are the forerunners of truly sustainable snow / surf / skate wear – making all their kit from recycled or recovered or organic raw materials, from cottons to polyesters. Whilst many brands do use some recycled or even organic content, this is often a bit of lip-service to the ‘eco’ section of their brand. With Picture, it is their whole brand.

YEAR_BLUE

And I was also excited because of the volumes of people I saw wearing it. Often ‘eco’ products are hailed as being ‘for all’ yet actually target a very niche set of people, be it aesthetically or cost wise. Picture proudly display their credentials literally on their sleeves, but even through the style is very distinct (bold and geometric), there is no stereotypical wearer. They sit very stylishly on the mountain. Picture products are responsible and desirable.

SHRED CAMO PANT_FLUOY

They are also comparable cost wise to other brands, so the sometimes argument of responsible products being out of the price range of consumers also does not apply. Yes, we are talking about a lot of money for a jacket (in three figures), but any good quality snowboard jacket will set you back this amount.

Sans titre-1

Of course, when we think about sustainable products, the best option is to keep what you already have, but it is fantastic that when it does come the time to replace it, you have the best possible option available – a well considered product made from recycled or reclaimed materials.

An interesting feature of some of the Picture products is also their inbuilt ‘second life’ features, such as rucksacks that can be cut apart at the end of their usable life and transformed by the owner into everything from pencil cases to laptop bags.

As well as encouraging reuse through this ‘second-life’ option, Picture jackets also feature internal sections that are made from the offcuts of the making process, minimising wastage of precious materials on the factory floor. And if a piece of apparel does truly end it’s life, then Picture will take it into their own recycling system for recovery, reuse or donation. With a 95% same material content, the Welcome Jacket is the first 100% recyclable technical jacket on the market.

It is so great – and so exciting to see a brand that cares deeply, and is really thinking through the issues with truly sustainable apparel design. It is even more exciting to see it going from strength to strength and being adopted on a huge scale. People really do care. 

So – when my current kit runs out, guess what brand’s kit I will be wearing as I hammer down the slopes on my board?

(all images via Picture)

Our latest secondhand hauls for our Local, Handmade, Secondhand Challenge…

Back in late 2016, we had a family and friend pledge – to only purchase items for each other at Christmas that we had found Locally, Handmade, or Secondhand. It was a roaring success, and the LHS Challenge was born. So, for 2016, we are planning on only buying items within this scope – with a rather large emphasis on the secondhand. As avid charity shoppers, this is not an issue for us, and so far so good…

And here is a little recap of what we have found so far…

LHS Challenge 2 Feb 16 LHS Challenge Feb 16 LHS Challenge 7 Feb 16From a vintage army trekking backpack though many books to old pieces of Lego that will be made into necklaces and woolly jumpers – we have found some brilliant pieces.LHS Challenge 6 Feb 16LHS Challenge 5 Feb 16LHS Challenge 3 Feb 16

But of course, buying things Local, Handmade or Secondhand is great, but is it better than not buying anything at all? We read, and admire people who are operating a no purchase policy for the year, but we know that we are unable to do that. We wear and use things until they cannot be repaired (and we are awesome fixers), but there are occasions when you do have to get something. We love the thrill of the hunt when you are looking for something secondhand, and the excitement of finding it. Or the rush of creativity when you find something you can change about a bit to be perfect.

Take, for example, this camo jacket and grey jumper. I had been looking for an old camo jacket for a while, and even though you can readily get them online, I wanted to find one that fitted nicely and had a good bit of wear.LHS Challenge 4 Feb 16

I had been searching for a long time, but that is fine. One day, as is the way with the world, the perfect one arrived. For a fiver. And it is this sense of anticipation rather than instant gratification which makes this way of consuming much more fulfilling. I wanted a camo jacket, but I did not NEED it now. When the right one was there, I bought it, rather than ‘making do’ with a new one from the High Street, and I LOVE it.

This ties in interestingly with the latest rise of decluttering pioneered by Marie Kondo – creator of the KonMari Method, who states that you should only keep items that you love and the rest should be (responsibly) discarded. This is great for charity shops as long as the items donated are actually of good quality – crap fashion worn for a few times and donated has little value.

So this is the quandary – we like to ‘consume’, but we need to do so responsibly. Buying good quality stuff from charity shops and donating the stuff we no longer love is one way forward.

(all images by claire potter)

Mafia Bags – from Sails to Bags…

As our materials get increasingly more robust, intelligent and indeed, man made, we have a bit of a double edged sword. In many respects, the newer ‘engineered’ materials often have a longer usable life, but unlike more natural materials, they are often hard or impossible to repair or recycle. Then we have an issue with a waste material. As we move towards a more circular based economy, it is essential that we find uses for these materials that would otherwise become landfill or incinerator fodder. Why waste something that can be reused? This is exactly the ethos of Mafia Bags.

Mafia Bags 3

Based in San Francisco, Mafia take the discarded and defunct windsurf, kiting and boating sails that have reached the end of their water based lives and transform them into functional and practical bags (very much like studio favourites Freitag do with truck tarps).

Mafia Bags 2

The resulting pieces are not only functional and make excellent use of a ‘waste’ material, they are completely individual. Nobody else will have the same configuration of materials as you in your bag. In a world of supposed sterile homogeneity of brands, we certainly celebrate this individuality too.

With a good selection of styles, colours and sizes, there is a bag for any occasion. Duffel bags to laptop covers, and very nice new additions to the Discover Backpack range. See one you love? Grab it before it is gone. It will be the only one. (race you all to the one below)

Mafia Bags 1

Got a sail yourself? You can donate it to Mafia and let them know what you would like it to be made into. And if you have a Mafia bag, they will repair it or replace it if it fails – for life – and for free. This is in the same vein as the Patagonia Repair Your Gear programme, where technicians will repair your beloved apparel so you can use it for longer.

mafia bags 4

This is what we need in brands. We need brands like Mafia and Patagonia who do not just want to sell to us, but believe so strongly in their products that they are willing to help us keep them, and love them longer.

Reusing waste material is an excellent start – keeping that second-life product in use is the future. 

(images via Mafia)

2015 recap – October – the sustainable Brighton Fashion Week…

October 2015 saw us heading to the sustainably founded and focussed Brighton Fashion Week, to see the latest responsible developments in ladies and menswear – from the high street ready to the conceptual…

(first published 19th Oct 2015)

Talk about sustainability, and haute couture fashion is often not the first thing that springs to mind, but with a commitment to all things ethical and sustainable, the Brighton Fashion Week 2015, which was held on 15-17 October certainly put this straight. All this week we will be looking at the activities and shows – starting with our Photo Special of the Showreel Design Competition, sponsored by Bolli Darling.

Located in All Saints Church, Hove, the last of the catwalk shows was actually a design competition, where designers, artists and creatives created one outfit from a ‘Beauty from Waste’ brief for a showcase of fashion, art and performance. It was rather spectacular too… starting with an incredible construction from competition sponsor and costumer extraordinaire, Bolli Darling…

Bolli Darling BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

And so, here are a few of the entries.

Elpida Hadiz-Vasilva – Gunna – chicken skin and recycled cotton combine to explore the notions of beauty and elegance… This dress was as delicate as paper – and was modelled beautifully.

Elpida Hadiz-Vasileva BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotElpida Hadiz-Vasileva 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotElpida Hadiz-Vasileva 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotGenieve Couture – Rags to Riches  – a dress created from 58 recycled garments, showing how post-consumer waste could be reimagined… A stunning, flowing dress that felt almost mermaid like, with a huge trailing tail of material. This was one dress where the origins of the material could be seen clearly.

Genieve Couture BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotGenieve Couture 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotGenieve Couture 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotAnne Sophie Cochevelou – Glorious Junk – tribal inspired costume made from waste… This was a performance – with each model adorned in jewel like creations of material, plastic and metal. The opulence was incredible in these stunning pieces.

Anne Sophie Cochevelou BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotAnne Sophie Cochevelou 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotAnne Sophie Cochevelou 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotAfton Ayache – Les couleurs d’Afrique Recycler – inspired by a heartfelt story of selflessness and appreciation for what we have, waste was used to create these African prints… Beautiful prints, with structure and flow.

Afton Ayache BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotAfton Ayache 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotHayley Trezise – Raggedy – Rebirth- A design which explores confidence and the process of being reincarnated or born again… Another performance piece, with a cloaked ‘crawler’ adding pieces to the long tail of the dress, which itself was highly textured.

Hayley Trezise Raggedy BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotHayley Trezise Raggedy 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotHayley Trezise Raggedy 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotKumiko Tani – Evening Coffee – couture dresses created from upcycled materials that explores our desire to dress up… A dress that was clearly constructed from waste, but that was well conceived in design.

Kumiko Tani 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotKumiko Tani BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

Freya Von Bulow – Flow of Nature – a technical gown designed to raise awareness of production and efficient recycling techniques… This dress was very structured and featured interesting pieces, like the clothes pegs in the neck section.

Freya Von Bulow 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

Juliette Simon – American Dream – a journey through the dark side of the American Dream… Very American Beauty, this dress told a clear story of waste and consumerism.

Juliette Simon 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotJuliette Simon BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

We were blown away by the creative theatre of each of the costumes, but after lots of deliberation, the judges awarded Afton Ayache the £1000 prize, courtesy of Veolia.

Afton Ayache 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

A fantastic competition, showing the wealth of talent out there – and we will be staying with Brighton Fashion Week 2015 for the rest of the week, with the Zeitgeist and Sustain shows, plus a look at the debates…

(all images copyright Claire Potter)

Green Gift Guide – day three – stuff you can wear…

It’s day three of our Green Gift Guide. We’ve featured a pop-up event, lovely stuff that is printed or made of paper and today we are looking at stuff you can wear. And stuff you would really want to wear too…

1 – Brisk Black vegan trainers – these are pretty lovely. With a nice graphic styling, this organic cotton and microfibre shoe is a great smart casual option for the office. The natural latex and coconut fibre husk mattresses actually mould to your feet too, ensuring an insane level of comfort. Yes please. £95 – from Nigels Eco Store

Brisk Black / White eco shoes

2 – a West End Belt from Elvis and Kresse – we are HUGE fans of Elvis and Kresse, who create quite stunning pieces with the most incredible stories. Each piece, from bags to wallets to belts, like the one below have been created from decommissioned London Fire Brigade Fire Hoses. So after saving lives, these incredible hoses are given another life themselves. Plus, up to 50% of profits are redirected into fire charities. Amazing. Get one. from £41

Cameron Diaz wears the Elvis & Kresse West End belt in a shoot for American Vogue

3 – Zig Zag Eco armband by Flavia Amadeu – we do like our statement jewellery, and this is quite a statement – a single piece of natural Amazonian rubber which creates a 3D shape around your arm. Wear it in different combinations, roll it down, pair up with any of the 5 different colours… we would go black and green. £30 each

Zig Zag Eco Armband

4 – a velociraptor necklace from Designosaur – we were delighted to have Karli and Jaques, a.k.a. Designosaur with us at the studio for the Christmas Artists Open Houses. With their fun designs available in masses of forms, each piece is locally made and designed here in Brighton. We have a weakness for their dinosaurs, and their cherry wood velociraptor is on our Christmas list for sure… get in quick though – mail orders close this Friday 18th! £32.81 plus shipping 

Velociraptor Skeleton Dinosaur Necklace. Laser Cut Wood Dinosaur Raptor Necklace. Bones Jewellery. Statement Necklace. Jurassic Park. Bone.

5 – A Beach guardian T-shirt from Surfers Against Sewage – not only will you be supporting a great charity, you will be wearing something made from rubbish. Recycled plastic and cotton shreds to be precise. And it’s currently on sale at a bargain £10. 

6 – RAW for the Oceans recycled ocean plastic jeans – yep. You read that right. Jeans made from ocean plastic. As many of you are aware, we have been doing a vast amount of research of late into marine litter and the increasing issues we have with plastic debris, and we were pleased to see a rather big hitter getting in on the issues too. A link up between G-Star RAW and Pharrell Williams, this range of clothing uses recovered plastic which is melted, chipped and spun into a fibre for reweaving. We are big fans of the Octopus mascot too… (£140 boyfriend jean shown)

RAW jeans

7 – Octo Kids Black T-shirt by Woody – Another brilliant local Brighton designer (and one of the organisers of the Brighton Pecha Kucha no less), this kids t-shirt by Woody is not only really cute, it is made from 100% organic cotton by fairtrade manufacturers in India using wind and solar power, before being printed in the UK. Wow. That ticks all the boxes! ages 3/4 and 5/6 – £15

Octo tee Woody

So we reckon that is a complete outfit done? Not too bad at all – and all great pieces with great stories…

(images via associated brands)

Green Gift Guide – day one – the Brighton Fashion Week Xmas pop up…

Each year we publish our Green Gift Guide – based on stuff that we have seen, loved and would be delighted to find in our stockings this month. For the rest of the week we will be posting our usual type of Green Gift Guide, but unusually, today we are starting with a pop-up event happening in Brighton until 6th Jan, but which has a late night special tonight – the Brighton Fashion Week Pop Up, in association with the FAIR Shop…

Embedded image permalink

We had a blast covering the Brighton Fashion Week in October, which was unique in that every designer showed a collection that was firmly ‘ethical’ from reused materials, to recycled pieces, to fair trade collaborations. It was a night of colour and excitement and showed that ethical fashion does not need to be er, unfashionable.

BFW popup 3 BFW popup 4

 

 

 

 

 

BFW popup 5 BFW popup 6

 

 

 

 

 

So for everyone in the Brighton area who has a fashionista to buy for, or is still looking for that special piece for that special party, look no further. Head to The FAIR Shop on 21 Queens Road for a late night special tonight featuring designers such as What Daisy Did (who we wrote about here), Rolfe and Wills, Nivo Jewellery and Maria Tilyard – whose crow cushions we have been coveting for a while in the studio. Very Game of Thrones and the closest Claire is going to get to a pet corvid.

BFW popup 1 BFW popup 2

 

 

BFW popup 8

 

 

 

BFW popup 7

 

 

 

 

And if you make it tonight between 6-8.30, you will also be able to sample some fabulous Tey Lattes from the award winning Massis Tea too… on International Tea Day no less. Hope to see you there!

Embedded image permalink

(images courtesy of BFW)

Christmas Artist’s Open Houses @ Studio Loo – Designosaur…

We have a bit of a thing for dinosaurs, so it is no wonder that we are huge fans of the brilliant, local jewellery duo Designosaur. With fantastic designs and a cheeky attitude, their pieces always raise a smile whenever and wherever we wear them. In fact, Claire was wearing her Plesiosaur necklace when she found a piece of Icthyosaur vertebrae on a recent trip to Lyme Regis – channelling her inner Mary Anning… Anyway, we caught up with Designosaur who are showing a huge selection of their wares at Studio Loo for the Christmas Artist’s Open Houses…

Hi! Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do? Hey! We’re Karli and Jacques of designosaur and we make laser cut sometimes dinosaur inspired jewellery, accessories and recently homeware! We’re Brighton based and design and make everything ourselves from concept to finish product, Jacques does our laser cutting which means we can experiment more with materials and techniques.

Velociraptor Skeleton Dinosaur Necklace. Laser Cut Wood Dinosaur Raptor Necklace. Bones Jewellery. Statement Necklace. Jurassic Park. Bone.

What is your favourite thing in your range at the moment and why? I love the Sabre Tooth necklace, it’s big and I wear it with everything. Jacques’ wears a lot of brooches as he’s not a necklace wearer, the platypus is one of his faves, I think because he likes to tell people they sweat milk, and it’s easier to get to that conversation if you’re wearing one…

Platypus Brooch. Duck Billed Platypus Pin. Animal Jewellery. Animal Brooch. Australian Badge.

Ok –  I’ve got £20 to spend. What should I buy from your range? ROARballs! This is our very own Christmas decorations featuring, you guessed it, dinosaurs! There’s six different designs and four colours, and who doesn’t want a dinosaur on their Christmas tree?! Oh and they are only £7 so you can buy three, which is £21 but you can make it £20!

ROARballs. Dinosaur Christmas Holiday Bauble. T-Rex Santa and Triceratops Reindeer. Acrylic Laser Cut. Holiday Decoration.

What is on your own Christmas List this year? I’m quite easy to buy for I think, if it’s bright and colourful you’re on to a winner! I do love a candle too, I picked up one of the Coconut Parkminister ones from Studio Loo the first weekend and it’s lush, so I’d love another of those! I can just hear Jacques saying PS4 over and over, which he’ll have to ask Santa for! He also said boots and clothes, that boy is expensive! I also happen to know he loves the framed magazines at the Studio, so if anybody needs to buy Jacques a present…

Stegosaurus Drop Earrings. Dinosaur Dangle Earrings. Jurassic World. Plastic Earrings. Animal Earrings. For her. Bridal Earrings.

Christmas pudding or Christmas cake? Jacques says cake, I really don’t like either but I do love a mince pie or a Yule Log!

Thank you Designosaur! 

*** you can see all of Designosaur’s lovely stuff and more at Studio Loo – we are OPEN for Christmas Artist’s Open Houses 21/22 + 28 Nov, 5 + 12/13 December – 10.30 – 5.00 at 201 Portland Road, Hove, BN3 5JA ***

*** REVIEW *** Brighton Fashion Week 2015 – pt4 – Sustain Show…

For the last of our photo specials for Brighton Fashion Week 2015, we are heading to the images we took at the first of the catwalk shows held at All Saint’s Church in Hove last week – the Sustain Show…

‘Clothing is a physical representation of our inner being; creativity, imagination, fantasies, desires, mentality and our ethics. Fashion is a second skin, one we shed daily and that remains malleable to our ever-changing sensibilities. Fashion should not be harmful in any way, nor irrelevant. Sustainability is key, and ethical garments can represent this beauty powerfully. Our ‘sustain’ show promotes sustainability through the showcasing of designers and practitioners that are willing to combine innovative fashion design and ethical thinking to produce unique and efficient collections. Brighton is a city that overflows with morality and strong ethical values, making it an ideal location for ‘sustain’ to premier. ‘Sustain’ will unveil collections designed to test the boundaries of sustainable fashion as we know it; expressing the personality of the city and its people.’

Angus Tsui…

Angus Tsui 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot Angus Tsui BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot Angus Tsui 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

Clare Poggio… (powered by Veolia)

Clare Poggio 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot Clare Poggio 3 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot Clare Poggio BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

KellyDawn Riot…KellyDawn Riot BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

Kitty Ferreira…

Kitty Ferreira BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

Milkweed…

Milkweed BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotMilkweed 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

Raggedy…

Raggedy 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot Raggedy BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

Rhiannon Hunt…

Rhiannon Hunt BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotRhiannon Hunt 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot

Tiffany Pattinson… Tiffany Pattinson 2 BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospotTiffany Pattinson BFW copyright Claire Potter 2015 the ecospot(all images by Claire Potter)